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Cabinet The Arcade Cabinet #5: Cosmetic DLCs/Microtransactions in singleplayer games

Perfect Chronology
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Hello everyone, and welcome to our fifth Arcade Cabinet! Before we get started, the Arcade staff have decided to reformat these into monthly threads for activity reasons.
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This edition, we'll be looking into DLC and micro-transactions, specifically within singleplayer games. I'm not talking about expansion pack DLCs with new areas and content, but more along the lines cosmetic items - armour, costumes, etc. Microtransactions are similar, offering items such as XP Boosts, ingame currency, etc.
For a recent example, let's take Assassin's Creed Valhalla. According to this Reddit post, 9 armour sets are exclusive to the ingame store - which is as many as there are in the base game. Keep in mind most of these are either cosmetic changes or overpowered weapons. For DLC, let's take a look at Persona 5 Royal. This pack with all DLCs is £49.99 - same price as P5R. Costume packs are £5.79 each while DLC Personae are £2.49 apiece.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it greed? Do you prefer unlockable costumes?

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Jack of All Trades, Master of None
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Did someone say horse armour?

I think they're ridiculous, especially if they cost heaps. Yes I understand these had to be designed and put into the game separately, but when some cosmetic items cost upwards of $10 each, it gets just silly.
If it's only a couple dollars, sure I might get something, but usually this sort of gear is quickly outclassed or just looks utterly silly when actually in the game.
Take Persona 5 Royal, which included all the clothing DLC from the original Persona 5 in it, which was amazing, but a majority of those outfits were basically references to other games or series and didn't really suit the overall theme of Persona 5 (Though I tried to match outfits to each dungeon), my biggest letdown with it was that you couldn't even use them outside the dungeons, it'd be much more incentivising to get if it was applied to the daily life versions of the characters too, of which you'll spend over half the game looking at.
You mention Assassin's Creed, which as is common for Ubisoft is chock full of DLC for useless gear, sure it might look awesome, but as soon as you hit like a third of the way through any of their games, you already have gear with better stats and have no reason to use the DLC ones, and on the flip side, you can end up with gear that has the best stats in the game and have zero reason to ever use anything else right from the start, removing any challenge from the game.

What makes the entire thing worse is if the game is one that promotes modding and has a big modder community, such as Skyrim, possibly a bad example with their whole paid mods nonsense, but it fits the exact thing I'm talking about, just look at Oblivion's DLC that doesn't add entire new questlines, things like a special weapon or the aforementioned horse armour. Why would I pay money to get these when CoolDude55 has made the same thing, but even better for free as a mod. Quite a few of the Skyrim paid mods add things like Daedric artifacts or other unique gear from previous Elder Scrolls games, and I know of one mod that adds the exact same thing plus heaps more, with better associated quests, etc. and all for free.

And of course then we have the other kind of single player game, which are specifically designed around microtransactions, this is, of course, mobile games. Typically Gatcha (roll to win your favourite character, but you gotta pay to roll and the odds of winning is low) or whatever you call those games with the hourly timers. These are the games out of any genre and type, that I hate the most. They're literally gambling and guilt tripping you into spending money to progress the game and do better. I would much rather just buy a game for $100 and not put up with cooldown timers and gatcha rates, but these games thrive on the type of people known as "whales" (rich people who just throw thousands of dollars away to get some pretty boy anime guy or gal in a phone game) and because these people exist, mobile games will always exist, because they know what these people want and they will pay the price, it's like any form of gambling, they offer a grand prize but tell them they gotta buy a ticket in order to win it, and the prize has no monetary value.

But uh yeah, I think I've covered everything about my thoughts on this, do you agree or disagree? Got any questions? Lemme know.
 
VoHiYo
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I think they're fine, they just get a REALLY bad rep.
games are still complete without dlc, and dlc just adds longevity to the game.
 
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And of course then we have the other kind of single player game, which are specifically designed around microtransactions, this is, of course, mobile games. Typically Gatcha (roll to win your favourite character, but you gotta pay to roll and the odds of winning is low) or whatever you call those games with the hourly timers. These are the games out of any genre and type, that I hate the most. They're literally gambling and guilt tripping you into spending money to progress the game and do better. I would much rather just buy a game for $100 and not put up with cooldown timers and gatcha rates, but these games thrive on the type of people known as "whales" (rich people who just throw thousands of dollars away to get some pretty boy anime guy or gal in a phone game) and because these people exist, mobile games will always exist, because they know what these people want and they will pay the price, it's like any form of gambling, they offer a grand prize but tell them they gotta buy a ticket in order to win it, and the prize has no monetary value.
What I dislike about them sometimes is that you know the companies don't play fair at times. I notice that when I start a new gacha the rates for newbies are generally "lucky" to hook them in, and when you get more into the game playing maybe every single day or so those rates start to drop, and sometimes resources like in-game currencies will gradually get slimmer and slimmer making it hard to strictly be f2p. That's generally where you get people throwing money at them just for a certain character(s), and it's one reason I've dropped FE Heroes (among other stupid things in it, sorry but my love for the series isn't enough to keep me playing) and unfortunately Dawn of the Breakers (which I thought had an interesting story for a mobile game) and a few others. Now I'm just playing UtaPri: Shining Live and BSD: Tales of the Lost, and that's only every once in a while, I wouldn't be surprised if both ends up like FE Heroes to me making it harder to be f2p. But yeah these games are designed to bleed players dry at some point.

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Anyway I'm indifferent to DLC if the prices are justified. But if they're like Fairy Tail RPG's DLC prices for buying characters individually, or in Elfman and Lisanna's case both as a pack (for some reason), then I can't defend that; one character is $20 and if you want all four of them in a pack then it's the same price as the game, which is straight up greedy. At least the other DLC in the game are priced better if you get them individually, the additional dungeon ($10), harder quests ($10), and costumes ($3.49) are a bit easier on the wallet (unless you have to absolutely get all cosmetics for each character then that still sucks cause it'll be pricey).
 
Praise Euterpe
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I do not like microtransactions, at all. I think of them more in a multiplayer game context where people who spend ridiculous amounts of money get the most out of the game. But even in single player games, they have no place. My experience with them in single player games is pretty limited (AC: Odyssey and Fenyx Rising are the only ones I think I've played with them) and I do have to say that I have never felt inclined toward them at all. However, I just don't think they should be there. Everything should be unlockable through achievements in-game, not a currency you have to pay for.

I suppose gacha games are outside of the scope of this topic, which is probably for the best. Because I have a very deep hatred for those mechanics. If you make someone pay for something extra, don't you dare lock it behind RNG.
 
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Can't say I like the idea of paying for cosmetic accessories and the like myself. I would rather just unlock new outfits/weapons/etc. by completing certain challenges within the game than paying extra money for them. They're fine for multiplayer games, but simply have neither any point nor place in singe-player games specifically.
 
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I think it depends on the type of cosmetics. If it's some sort of promotional or crossover thing that wouldn't normally mesh well with the aesthetic of the game, then sure, I'm fine with having to pay for that if I really wanted it. If it's something that looks like it should be in the base game, then it should be included in the base game.
Also, if I'm paying half the price of the base game for DLC, I'd expect to get enjoyment that lasts about half the time as the original base game. Anything less makes me feel cheated.

Gacha/lootboxes are a different thing, and I find it honestly varies on a case-by-case basis. I've played some games that are extraordinarily generous, and others that are super stingy with their currencies. That being said, I don't have a seething hatred for these games like many people seem to.

I don't mind microtransactions in gacha games if the F2P playerbase still has options to obtain things P2W players have. Ideally, the only thing that should ever be blocked with a paywall is stuff like hardcore top-ranking PVP stuff, which are usually dominated by whales who shell out a shit ton of cash on these kinds of games anyway. Everything else should still be enjoyable whether people spend money or not.

Anyway, my least favorite form of microtransactions are the ones that charge you like 20 dollars to get 5 power ups in Bejeweled/Bubble pop type games. Like, at least if I spend 20 bucks on a gacha game to get a pdf of my waifu/husbando I get something out of it, like fodder material, a weapon, another unit, etc. With the candy crush stuff, paying doesn't even guarantee you'll pass levels you're literally paying to beat.
 
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